Loyd Hall Plantation (Cheneyville, La) May 26, 2007 16:09:33 GMT -5
Post by Brad-LaSpirits on May 26, 2007 16:09:33 GMT -5
This is a personal favorite of mine for the CenLa area of the state. Definitely on the top of my local wish list of places. Origional home to a "double agent" for the north and south, this man was hung in the front yard of his own home. Later, a female jumped to her death from the 3rd floor and then a soldier was accidently shot on thr front porch, where he later died in the attic and was buried under the home. Blood stains from his death are still visible, as well as bullets, which are still lodged in the house walls. The sounds of a violin playing are often heard, along with many other forms of activity. Below is a brief history on the home:
Loyd Hall is a 2 12 story mansion built during the mid 19th century with possible later additions. The style of Loyd Hall is predominantly Classical Revival, although the brick core is strongly Georgian in form and some details have Victorian influence.
The house has a symmetrical floor plan with a central hall and two rooms on either side on both the first and second floors. The third floor has two large rooms which flank the central stairway area. Two story galleries extend across the front and rear of the house.
Each of the rooms on the first and second floors contains a large woodburning fireplace. The four rooms on the first floor were the parlor, sitting room, dining room and bedroom. The second floor rooms were all bedrooms. The attic floor had a school room and a bedroom.
The original plan has been altered for its present use. Portions of the rear gallery were enclosed around 1949 for bathroom/dressing areas on both floors. The remaining gallery space on the first level is used for storage and a screened porch. The remaining second floor gallery area is used for storage and a sewing room. The sitting room is now the present dining room. The dining room is the present kitchen. The original first floor bedroom is now the den. The second floor is still the sleeping area. The school room on the attic floor is now a children's playroom.
The basic structure is solid masonry, loadbearing 13½” thick walls both exterior and interior. These walls bear on stepped masonry footings. Heavy timber trusses form the roof structure. The general condition of the structure is excellent.
Brick for the house was made on the plantation. Timbers for framing are mill cut with pegs used at major joints and square handmade nails at common or secondary joints. The roofing is grey quarried slate shingles on latticed furring. Major materials used on the interior are plastered brick, cypress doors and trim and heart pine flooring. The staircase balusters and handrail are composed of tiger maple and black walnut. The exterior galleries are of cypress construction with cast iron railings. The original columns were of one piece of solid cypress, but around 1949 were replaced with steel columns encased in wood. Modifications to the original structure, other than the installation of plumbing and electrical wiring, include structural repair to the first floor joist system.
Stylistically, Loyd Hall shows an interesting combination of influences. The brick core with its double end chimneys and raised parapets is a form found in the Georgian period in East Coast cities, but which continued to be used until around the micl 19th century. It is primarily an urban form. Most stylistic traits of the house are Classical Revival in influence. And yet there are elements which indicate Victorian influence. Among other things these include the narrow gallery columns placed on high pedestals; the east iron balustrades; the brackets on the doorway entablatures; the stairway in the central hall; the heavy cornice found over doors and windows; the glass transom over the interior doors; and the ornate and naturalistic ceiling medallions and crown mouldings. This mix of styles suggests that the house may have been built in the late 1850's or 60's, with some interior modifications during the later Victorian period. Unfortunately, exact dating is unknown.
A detached kitchen is located at the right rear of the house and about 35' from it. It is a one story, two room structure which houses a large double opening cooking fireplace. The plan has not been altered. The basic structure is brick with cypress trim and front porch, as in the main house. The kitchen has stepped end gables, a central chimney, and straight arches over the windows. The two doors have transoms over them. Originally the roof was covered with slate, but now wood shingles are used. The stucco along the bottom third of the building is a later modification, added in the 1920's or 30's. The kitchen building is now used to display artifacts and as the owner's study.
A two acre yard surrounds Loyd Hall, and beyond this are cultivated farm lands.
STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE
Loyd Hall has long been considered a landmark in central Louisiana because it is architecturally unique in the Bayou Boeuf area and beyond. Its uniqueness for the area stems from several points.
First of all, it appears to be the only brick plantation house in the upper Bayou Boeuf area (the Anglo Saxon settled part) left from the 19th century. Virtually all of the others were built of cypress, including New Hope, Homeplace, Walnut Grove, Wellswood, Wytchwood, Bennetts' House and various others. Secondly, Loyd Hall is the only truly pretentious building in the area. The others seem on]y like good, substantial farm houses in comparison. Loyd Hall is very different in form from the other houses in the area. With its brick structure and parapeted end chimneys, it is much more urban in feeling and therefore somewhat of a sophisticated anomaly in this area which was rather isolated in the 19th century. It seems fairly safe to say that no house of such an elaborate nature appeared in this wilderness area until perhaps around 1850. Loyd Hall would probably have been much more at home in an urban area like New Orleans or Natchez, where similar structures can be found. These characteristics of Loyd Hall make it stand out architecturally in Central Louisiana.
Apparently the lavish nature of this house continued for some years, for some elderly area residents recalled parties at the house around the turn of the century. On one of these occasions, the owner host provided an immense pie with literally four and twenty blackbirds, not baked but be ribboned, who flew out on the pull of a ribbon!
For some years thereafter the house fell into disrepair, but in 1948 the present owners purchased the house and began to restore it.
Unfortunately, the documented history of Loyd Hall is extremely sketchy. This is primarily due to fire which destroyed most of the records in Rapides Parish during the Civil War. However some background information can be supplied.
The piece of land which is now the front 173 acres of Loyd Hall Plantation was known to be a part of the estate of Levi Wells (died in 1818) and claimed by his son, Montford Wells in 1829. The Loyd brothers from Marshall County, Tennessee apparently began arriving in central Louisiana around 1820. Newspaper accounts announce unclaimed letters for Robert Loyd and Thomas Loyd on April 22 and July 8, 1820. Other brothers were Elisha, William and James D. Loyd. The 1850 Louisiana Census records indicate that James D. Loyd was in this area then, but Marshall County, Tennessee Court House records show that he was not yet a resident of Rapides Parish on October 10, 1839. There is no information on the Loyd family from 1840 to 1864 and when they purchased this property is not known. In 1864 James D Loyd died, but no inventory of his estate was made at that time. The property remained in the Loyd family until the death of Mrs. Sarah Loyd, widow of James D. Loyd. At her death an inventory was made, but it does not describe the house. Then the property was divided in 50 acre lots and sold to satisfy unpaid debts of the Loyd estate. The entire property was bought by Richard B. Campbell of New Orleans in 1872 and since then has had a number of owners.